It is befuddling when columnists, whose job is to express opinions and interpret matters they have some background in for readers -- and who do so with evident inaccuracy for years on end -- are always unrelievedly mistaken but don't change their message or alter their analytical technique. The New York Times is a hotbed of such people, and the Times itself has been mistaken about every single serious issue in American life for decades. But the in-house champion of this genre of habitual error is now Tom Friedman.
China's growth, while enviable, is slowing. But power is opaque here, a problem in a globalized world, and the government controls information flow. It in the midst, like America, of a power struggle over who will run their nation. America is undertaking a noisy and disruptive election process while China is undergoing a power struggle behind closed doors as to who will run the superpower for the next 10 years.
The U.S. has never in its history endured a decline like that of the last 20 years. This time the office has to seek someone serious, and whoever that person is, has to come out of the closet soon.